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We left the Portland area by 10AM on Saturday for a hedonistic fun-filled day of people watching at the 2008 Faerieworlds Festival at Secret House Winery. I missed last year and was just blown away at how big this festival has become! It was three times larger than the first year: three times the vendors and three times the crowd! There were so many faeries, Elves, and Other Beings to see and everyone seemed to be in a high mood (except security, but I think they just choose to look dour). I took 125 photos (some are best described as WRONG, but I’ll figure out how to post those later) of some very wonderful fey people. I can’t post pictures of this fey person because I haven’t received any from my friend (she took some of me).

My friend in the morning.

We walked through about a third of the vendors before we decided to return to the car and eat a picnic lunch. My friend changed to a cooler costume then:

Luna the Moon Goddess felt much better in her lighter costume.

Unlike me, she wore her mask all day and remained in character. She’s such a drama queen!

After lunch, it was back to wander through more vendors. We walked until our little footsies hurt. Every one of the vendors was nice and several “insisted” on putting their wares on Chrystal to show her how she’d look. There was the $100 headpiece (no photo allowed since I wouldn’t buy it, but she looked really pretty and the headpiece was adorned with fiber optic lights – well worth the $100) and the $100 “Elf Ears.”

They were carved out of bone and she said they didn’t weigh very much.

She had to settle for the more useful $50 Elf Hoodie which you can’t see very well in this photo, but which will last her a very long time. She *really* wanted the hoodie, anyway.

But enough about us. One of the things I like best about Faerieworlds are the family units. And the wee faeries.

This wee Faerie was probably my favorite.

Pure hedonism belongs to the very young who know nothing else.

The Queen of the Bumblebees made an appearance.

This horned little Faerie was on a roll.

Every time I tried to capture this family unit, they moved. I managed to capture this one wee waif by herself (the rest are in the background – there were several wee ones).

She exemplifies the shop-’til-you-drop hopes of the vendors here as her little faerie treasure bag sags to the ground.

This pair was one of my favorites. He was nestled up against his mom’s neck when I asked if I could get a photo of her with her stunning headpiece. I was taken by her innocence and youth and his tired little face with the “what?” expression.

The first time I saw this couple, all I noticed was their smiles.

I wish the wee faerie would have turned to look at me when I took this. His parents still have their beatific smiles on their faces.

Isn’t she adorable? Her equally tall husband had equally pink hair, but I never could seem to catch him or the little boy faerie. They were always smiling, too.

The little black-winged faerie was also a budding belly dancer. Here she is, patiently waiting for her mom.

This was mom. Looks like she’s getting her necklaces adjusted by a photographer whom I assumed to be her husband.

Wait! What’s this? A rush of sudden movement to the side! An intervening Elf!

The purple faerie was unsuccessful in her attempt to thwart the brave Elf, and he arrived at his bride’s side just as the photographer was finished playing with her necklace. He looks a little bashful about having presumed something else was happening.

“I ask your forgiveness, Fair Faerie Mother and Handsome Elf Father. I did not mean for your handsome Elf to race here, narrowly avoiding the evil Purple Faerie, only to find you did not need rescuing.”

“You are forgiven Sir Photographer, but only if my Fair Faerie Wife can be on the cover of the next Faerie Magazine.”

All the while, the beautiful black-winged daughter dances to the distant music of Celtic drums.

I almost deleted the Purple Faerie because she ran right in front of my camera, but then I realized I had a story here.

I won’t bore you with any more pictures today. Tomorrow, I’ll post some more of the wonderful creatures I spied while wandering the faerie wood at Secret House Winery.

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And for my 100th post, I am going to link you to my new favorite website:

http://www.cryptidsarereal.com/

This is so great! Proof positive that Bigfoot. Falling Rock (and his cousins), Nessie, and other oddities (flashlight frogs???) exist. I didn’t think we needed any more proof (especially for Bigfoot, since they made a movie that he starred in: “Harry & the Hendersons”), but I guess there are still doubters out there in la-la land. And Nessie has had her (his? its?) own movie, too: “The Waterhorse” (which we recently returned to Netflix). Cute movie, strange story.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I cannot begin to tell you how much time and effort we have spent on searching for evidence of Bigfoot.

yeah. Right.

Enjoy the website.

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I come home from work with all these grand ideas about what I am going to accomplish in the evening – and it never, ever happens. I’m always tired. Tonight, I was achey on top of being tired (I don’t mean physically tired: emotionally and psychologically tired) (I was physically achey). So nothing got done, not even the laundry. Well, I did mop up the bathroom floor, after the teenager mopped it.

No, this is not a criticism on her cleaning: she did a good job. It’s just that the cat really let loose a foul-smelling stream of urine and it permeates the bathroom. To the cat’s credit, he was pretty doped up and traumatized. If I back up a little, I can explain (please do): this morning I took Nimrod to the vet to have his little balls snipped off. (I can say that, right? snip, snip…) He went along very willingly, even took a nap in the truck as I drove the half mile to the vet’s. He’s traveled before in Chrystal’s company, no big deal. What he has never experienced before is being left in the hands of sadists and anesthesiologists. He fought anesthesia desperately and when he came to, he was desperately upset that he didn’t know where he was or where Chrystal was. He was still quite groggy when my husband picked him up, and he peed all over the cat carrier, himself, and the towels in his carrier.

Chrystal tried to clean him up in the bathroom (confining the mess to one room). She got him somewhat rinsed off, washed the rags, and deposited the cat carrier in the garage. Then she tried to mop the bathroom to get rid of the smell.

Poor Nim. He really had a bad day and my bathroom reflects that. But he will be so much happier when he awakens fully, finds himself in familiar surroundings, and can indulge in real food. Food solves everything.

I rinsed the bathroom after the mopping in hopes of clearing the air.

And that was all I accomplished tonight. The weather has turned cold and wet and typical: no gardening for me. Chrystal has been holed up in her bedroom reading Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series (Language Arts, for homeschoolers, plus history albeit fictionalized). I’m impressed with the questions Chrys had been asking about the series. “How is it that Ayla is so superior?” “Why is she an Aryan princess?” “Who said Cro-magnon man was blond haired/blue eyed?” “Isn’t it irritating that she invents everything?” (Answer: I only read the first two books in the series. I got so tired of Ayla’s superiority that I couldn’t force myself to open the next book in the series. I’m ready now, but only because I finally forgave Jean Auel for using one character to span the length of time and invention.)

While she’s reading Jean Auel, I am reading Brian Jacques. I just finished “Rakkety Tam.” It’s another mousie adventure, this time pitting a lowland Scots squirrel against a wolverine (gulo gulo) named … Gulo. I read the Redwall books just to polish up on my molespeech. Burr hurr aye. Chrystal is the only one of my kids who will read Brian Jacques and share in the adventure with me. She refuses to speak molespeak, however. Oi’m gurtly afeared oi takes offense at that. Oi thinks they thinks oi’m not in moi roight ‘ead.

This post has no point. 🙂

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We had a wonderful warm Saturday that distracted me from all of my other responsibilities and plans. No one else was at home when I rose in the morning (except the parakeets). I looked at the loads of laundry, considered the posts I wanted to add to my blog (on homeschooling, mostly), the bills to pay and the myriad other little duties I have to do on a weekend. Then I looked outside. Sunshine. Real sunshine and real warm sunshine. I wheeled the parakeets outside so they could enjoy the day. I found my garden gloves, my garden shows, and I put on some sloppy parachute pants to get dirty in. I tied my hair back and dropped my trusty knee pads onto the still-dewy lawn.

And I dug. There’s something freeing about dirt. I pulled up chickweed and used the trowel to get under the dandelions, false dandelions and thistles that were trying to get a foothold in my flower beds. The day was warm and I lost track of time. Not much was blooming – yet – but so much had the promise of opening up to the sun! I decided to get two flower beds done: the ones out front, under the big rhododendrons, and the big “island” in the back, by the camelia. I refused to look at the camellia, which had just tipped past its prime. Camellias don’t last much more than fifteen minutes, and this one is no exception. It’s redeeming feature is the trunk. Really. And the ten minutes that the flowers are fully open, still vibrant and pink with bright yellow stamens. Then they turn brown and ugly, fall off the tree (bush? Mine is pruned to look like a dwarf tree)) and turn into slug slime on the ground beneath the camellia. Slugs won’t eat them, by the way: I suppose they consider the dead flowers are as slimy as them, so why bother? No, slugs eat my irises instead.

Ah! But I was a step ahead of the slugs this year and purchased some pretty wire ribbon from Lee Valley Garden Supply which I staked around all of my irises. The slugs crawl up to the copper and touch it with their slimy antennae. It is the gastropod equivalent of licking your finger and sticking it into an ungrounded light socket. Zap! No poison ever worked as well and was less toxic to the rest of the garden. That was what else I did while the parakeets watched me work.

Work? Playing in the dirt? Not work: pleasure. Mindless, soothing, addicting, dirty play.

I raked the rhodie leaves back from the few plants that survive the acidic soil beneath my bushes (which, like the camellia, are more like dwarf trees and have been pruned up to show off their beautiful trunks). I proudly noted that all of the crocus bulbs I planted last fall had produced spring blooms.

Here are some pictures:

The camellia just moments before her full glory…

Too late. The flowers have started to fall. THIS is why I hate camellias… (And they are marketed as “long blooming beauties.” yeah. Right. If you consider a week a long time.

The Oregon Grape. Mahonia aquifolium. I have four of them, and they were just sticks when I planted them three years ago. Not even that: twigs with roots. The birds will love me this autumn, when these bear fruit!

Chrystal’s Honesty. It survives under the rhododendrons.  lunaria annua or Silver Dollar Plant. It is a biennial, but once it gets established is not only difficult to eradicate, but will fill in the blank area under the rhodie. Chrystal threw the seeds out under the rhodie and forgot about them. One plant made it; now there are two. Next year: more.

The north rhododendron. First to bloom and the one that lasts the longest. I cut a number of blooms to take to work in a vase. Rhodies, like this cultivar, are pretty and bloom long enough to sate the bumblebees. I have a love/hate relationship with the domestic ones: they litter the yard like the camellia does, but at least I can cut the branches and make beautiful bouquets that last a week.

When cutting rhodies for a vase that you will be taking indoors, always leave it outside for several hours first. Gives the grease ants time to jump ship. Sugar ants? Whatever. Those pesky little itty bitty ants that find ways into your house, around the diatomaceous earth and into the dishwasher. Those ants. 

Look what I found, folded under some weed guard the dog dug up!! One of the anenome bulbs I planted last autumn survived! Against all odds, I have a bloom! I don’t know what happened to the rest of the bulbs (or I don’t want to know!), but one made it. Yay!! it’s still looking pale and fragile from having been hidden under the weed guard, but I think it will survive.

Finally, I have a little photo essay on the dracunculus vulgaris which is nestled under the variegated creeping myrtle (periwinkle, vinca minor) and the grape hyacinth:

Week one, March 29: just beginning to stick up above the bed of periwinkle.

Week 2, April 5. The purple-leafed item is a peony growing up beside the Dragon Plant.

Week 3, April 12. Well over a foot and half tall now. They will continue growing at this amazing rate until they bloom sometime the first week of June. Then my garden will smell like rotting meat for a few days. They make stunning flowers…

The artist’s rendition. Mine, of course.

I finished all my work in the garden sometime Sunday morning. No, I didn’t work all day and night: I saved my back and took frequent breaks, bought groceries, washed laundry, even cleaned some of the inside of the house and put the parakeets back in before the temperature dropped and they got chilled. I still have one more flower bed to weed out and several small spots. I will have to buy mulch and add it to the several flower beds, too. But I am ahead of the weeds in the major beds and I have flowers blooming!

That’s what it is all about, isn’t it? Oh, and the bumblebees, honey bees and mason bees that are buzzing happily around in my yard.

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